Skull Centerpiece

easy sophisticated halloween tabletop decor

The Halloween decorating continues with this simple and crafty skull centerpiece. I picked up a few paper mache skulls at my craft store and had grand ideas of painting them a la Dia de los Muertos, then I thought I could just paint them white like a regular skull, then my true lazy crafter self stepped in and said to just leave them as is. I actually do like the natural texture from the unfinished paper mache skull and it adds to the sophisticated decor I’ve been after.

Using an x-acto knife, simply cut a round hole at the top of the skull to fit either a votive candle holder or shot glass, whatever you have on hand. Fill the holder with some water and insert into skull. Fill with Halloween-ish flowers. Check back in next week to see how I put together the witch hat and this skull for a simple and elegant tabletop.

Vintage Spaces

Vintage Bathroom Design

I’m deathly afraid of scary movies but this is the year I’m going to watch The Shining in it’s entirety. According to friends who have seen it, the scariest scene takes place in this bathroom and I’ve survived that so I’m sure I can handle the rest of the movie…I hope.

Image via here

In the Kitchen: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup Recipe Photo

It’s that time of year when I want everything I eat to be filled with cream, pasta or cheese (ideally all three together). I’ve accepted that I will probably put on some winter weight, but that is the cycle I choose to live, so here we go with some yummy cream of mushroom soup. Seriously, this dish is sooooo good and will warm your soul.


6 tbsp. of unsalted butter

1 c. yellow onion, diced

1 c. leeks white and green parts, chopped (about 1 leek)

2 c. of crimini mushrooms, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp. thyme

1/4 c. all purpose flour

4 c. chicken stock or broth

2 c. half-and-half


Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat until melted. Add in onions, leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until all ingredients are tender.

Add in thyme and flour until everything is evenly coated and cook for 1 minute.

Add in broth and half-and-half. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get all those yummy brown bits. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes until soup thickens. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

*I used half-and-half for less fat, but you could definitely do 1 c. half-and-half with 1 c. of cream for an even creamier soup.

Station to Station

A public art project (2)

During the month of September, a train traveled from New York City to San Francisco, making stops at nine train stations across the country. Station to Station was a nomadic public art project organized by artist Doug Aitken and was made possible by theĀ Levi’s brand. The hubs traveled on the train for the entire month and I was able to catch up with him for the last three stops in California.

A public art project (8)

Above is the Levi’s train car and was the first stop on my personal tour of the train. I’d been following STS via social media and Dre would share his personal stories of work and play on the road, but it wasn’t until I actually saw the physical train that I truly understood this creative adventure that he was on.

A public art project (7)

A public art project (14)

Some of the train cars were over 100 years old and most still had all the original fixtures. I loved this fold down sink and razor blade holder. Below is a peek into one of the artist’s quarters.

A public art project (10)

A public art project (6)

A public art project (9)

The first event I attended was in Barstow at an old drive-in. It was a very unique setting, being in the middle of nowhere, listening to music from bands like No Age, Cold Cave, Cat Power and Beck. Below are some yurts which each had a different art installation.

A public art project (1)

A public art project (13)

A public art project (11)

After the Barstow stop, I was back in LA for the event at Union Station. Below is the Levi’s Makers yurt which was my favorite installation. There were different makers in the exposed yurt and you could walk around and see the process of each maker, whether it be handmade quilts, rugs, customized denim jackets, or watches.

A public art project (3)

A public art project (12)

The last stop was in Oakland at an abandoned train station and the setting was perfect for the finale.

A public art project (4)

A public art project (5)

Sintra 1012 Progress

Sintra Lisbon Portugal Boutique Hotel

It’s been slow going with my international consulting project. Everyone took the month of August off and there has been a little behind the scenes drama, but things are getting back to schedule. Here are some Sintra 1012 progress photos…fresh new coat of exterior paint and some lighting going up!

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